Greek police caught framing innocent bystander during demo
The police chase and apprehand a mask wearing man who is in possession of a bag full of petrol bombs ready to used against shops or fellow officers.Quickly he is subdued, detained and arrested, Mission accomplished. Job well done. Well, not quite. Fortunately for the 23 year old student involved this particular arrest was captured on video (see here) by a passer - by and photographed (see here) by Associated Press photographer Nikos Giakoumidis last Sunday.
It now turns out that the person arrested was a resident of the northern city of Thessaloniki who had decided to take out his rubbish as the march in memory of Greek teen, Alexandros Grigoropulos killed by a police bullet last year in Athens was in progress. When he saw half a dozen Delta motorcycle cops racing towards him he panicked and ran only to be quickly overtaken and captured.
The video then shows the officers hitting the man, fetching a gas mask and others bringing up a bag full of Moltov cocktails which would later be used as incriminating evidence against him when he was charged. The fact that the person was wearing pyjamas seems to have escaped the notice of the half a dozen motorcycle riding Delta group policemen present at the scene.
The fact that he student was dressed in pyjamas seemed to have raised no questions with the officers. In the video which was posted on the Zougla.gr internet news site another witness who gives his full name also says that his wife's mobile phone was smashed by officers in an effort to make sure no visual record of their actions would exist.
Today the Greek police made an official apology to the student and said that they would be carrying out an internal investigation.
But if this event had not been videoed there is a very good chance that the student would be behind bars at the moment and would be facing anything up to 12 months in prison awaiting trial. If he had been found guilty, and with such evidence against him that would have been a real possibility he could have faced over 15 years behind bars according to his lawyer, Athanasios Tartis.